Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Bravo Brutopia Brews and Open Mic

June 13, 2012

brutopia bar montreal

brutopia bar montreal

A late night at Brutopia pub in Montreal on Crescent Street on my last night in Canada, and a good night there, meant a late posting on this blog – as I flew back to Paris on Monday, worked all day Tuesday and slept for nearly 12 hours to make up for all that! Brutopia was once again one of my best experiences at an open mic in Montreal. It started quietly and slowly, and I wondered what had happened to that great atmosphere I found at Brutopia last year…and then little by little it picked up and became just that same cool evening once again.

I showed up at 9:45 and signed up to a list with only three other names on it. The open mic started just after 10, and this time it was hosted by a man named Scott Mitchell, who has a voice reminiscent of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. Last year it had been hosted by Bud Rice, and I would later learn from Scott that there are several different hosts who split up the monthly hosting job. He said it is the city’s longest running open mic, and that he thinks it will last for years to come – as long as the pub does. Check out the interview I did with him in my ongoing series of podcasts this year from my worldwide musical journey to the open mics and jams of every continent – or almost:

Brad Spurgeon interviews Scott Mitchell, one of the MCs of Montreal’s Brutopia bar open mic:

It became an exceptional evening, in fact, as I met up with friends both musical and others, whom I met or knew in Paris. One of these is my semblable, my frere, (to steal a line from a poem of a poet who liked to steal), Danny Fonfeder, the founder of Blueberry Guitars, and globetrotting businessman and open mic man himself….

I managed to drink three pints of some of the homemade beer, one of which was not planned but was offered since all performers receive a free beer. I like such places.

And despite what Scott said about the bar being an Anglo joint, I also had several interesting conversations with French-speaking Quebecers, especially about the current protest movement. Check out the videos of the bands closely and you might be able to see musicians wearing the red square that shows their alignment with the movement.

I will stop my chatter now, in order to ensure that I finally get this post up after such a long time away from this daily diary of musical adventures…. Oh, almost forgot to mention that the day before this, Saturday, I made a very early night of it, but managed to play my guitar and sing all by myself in the park outside the Berri-UQAM metro station, the place where all those protesters usually gather to start their night of protest…. Oh, correction, some people gathered around to listen, and when I finally had this woman tramp tell me she liked my voice, I decided to really belt out “What’s Up!” I had my fix.

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